“Don’t fight the fearful thoughts…Just match each one with an affirmative thought that brings you more peace.” Martha Beck
I was at a friend’s home; newly built with breathtaking water views in every direction. I was focused on all the beauty. Until, that is, I started to catch a theme as she was giving us a tour. She was pointing out all the ways in which she and her husband included options so that as they aged they could stay in their home. This is a couple in their mid-fifties, vibrant and in great shape.
Here are a few examples:
- Bedroom on the first floor in case they couldn’t do the stairs.
- Staircase wide enough to accommodate a chair lift.
- Hallways extra wide to accommodate a wheel chair.
- A shower and a closet were positioned so they could be converted into an elevator.
What struck me was what she said next.
“You see, I think if we plan for all the ways in which we WON’T be able to get around – then those things won’t happen.”
Plan for the worst and then it won’t happen?
It’s like saying, “I’m going to outsmart God or the Universe or whoever is out there planning my fate.” And, “If I think about, expect and plan for the worst, then I’m hoping it won’t happen.”
Living in Fear controls you if you let it.
When we allow fear-based thoughts to take over, life becomes scary. I’m not saying planning ahead is a bad thing. The danger lies in always expecting the worst and the stories that go along with those fearful thoughts.
Another example –
A mom said her toddler fell and broke her collar bone. She said it was her fault and she could have prevented it.
She explained that she had stayed late at work by 15 minutes. In that 15 minutes her daughter fell. She believed that if she had arrived home on time her daughter would have been at the door to give Mommy a hug as was the routine. Instead her little one was jumping on the couch. She believed since she was late she was to blame for the fall. She believed she could control life. The story then spiraled into that by choosing work over her daughter she was a bad mother.
Fear-based thoughts limit our lives.
If you spend your time focused on all the potentially bad things that could happen life will pass you by. If you are constantly preparing for the worst think of the nervousness and anxiety that festers within. These are not healthy emotions.
So tell me – do you expect the worst and hope for the best? What is one positive thought you can have today to replace that negative mindset? Can you “Expect Good Things”? Use this as a mantra when worrying thoughts take over! As Martha Beck says, match the fearful thought with a positive one.